Derived from the short story of the same name, Mother and Child as
a play shows how Hughes transformed his fictional work into a short
drama. The short story is suited to dramatic rendering because it is
primarily written in dialogue. One significant transformation, however,
is in the closing hymn. In the short story, the hymn contains the lyric Ring a golden bell for me," more of an ironic counterpoint to the gossip.
In the play, the lyrics relate directly to resistance.
Sam Smiley, The Drama of Attack: Didactic Plays of the American
Depression ( Columbia: U of Missouri P, 1972) 37.
Arnold Rampersad, The Life of Langston Hughes, Vol. I: 1902-1941, I,
Too, Sing America ( New York: Oxford UP, 1986) 236-38; Leslie Catherine Sanders
, The Development of Black Theater in America: From Shadows to
Selves ( Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1988) 97. Langston Hughes, letter to Carl Van Vechten, 16 May 1932, Carl Van Vechten Papers, Beinecke Library, Yale University.
Hughes also credits The Associated Negro Press for permission to publish certain poems contained in the Golden Stair Press 1932 edition. "Restaging
Langston Hughes' Scottsboro Limited: An Interview with Amiri Baraka", Black
Scholar July-Aug. 1979: 62. Workers Theatre offered "group recitations on the
Scottsboro case" titled Scottsboro, available in German, Yiddish and Yugoslavian. A play titled Scottsboro was staged by the West Philadelphia Cultural
Center and the Philadelphia Dramatic Council. See Workers Theatre June-
July 1932: n. pag.; Aug. 1932: 18. Other left wing theatre groups were Workers
Laboratory Theatre and Shock Troupe.
It's Up to You, from Scottsboro Limited, adapted by Ben Shangold for the
NAACP in Cleveland, Ohio, ts., cat. #3860, LHP-YUBL.
Margaret Brenman-Gibson, Clifford Odets: American Playwright ( New
York: Atheneum, 1981) 304.
Dan T. Carter, Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South, rev. ed.
( Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1979) 3-6, 7-8. The black males involved in the
case were Clarence Norris, Olen Montgomery, Ozie Powell, Haywood Patterson, Willie Roberson, Charlie Weems, Eugene Williams, Roy and Andy Wright.
Clarence Norris and
Sybil D. Washington, The Last of the Scottsboro
Boys: An Autobiography ( New York: G. P. Putnam, 1979) 249-55. These pages
contain a Chronological Record of the Scottsboro Case." The work is based on
the story of Clarence Norris, one of the black males accused and convicted. The
text contains letters and documents concerning the trial. Another of the texts
credited to one of the black males is Haywood Patterson Scottsboro Boy ( New
York: Collier, 1950).
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Langston Hughes:Folk Dramatist in the Protest Tradition, 1921-1943.
Contributors: Joseph McLaren - Author.
Publisher: Greenwood Press.
Place of publication: Westport, CT.
Publication year: 1997.
Page number: 54.
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